April 11th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: Home-Built Heavy Gun with Coaxial Rear Rest

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

If you’re a fan of “Heavy Artillery” here’s an impressive rifle that Forum member “Straightpipes” crafted himself nearly a decade ago. Even today, it remains a state-of-the-art engineering Tour De Force, complete with a custom-built, joy-stick REAR rest. We’re mightily impressed by the innovative design and superb metal-work displayed by this “home-built special”. ‘Straightpipes’ certainly proved that American “know-how” and creativity is still alive….

Coaxial (joy-stick) rests allow both vertical and horizontal movement with a single control. If you want to make a diagonal shift in point of aim, you can do this with one, smooth, continuous movement. Until now, this advantage has been limited to front rests. Well there’s some new technology in the benchrest world. Forum member ‘Straightpipes’ has created a coaxial rear joystick rest. He built this simple, compact rear rest in his home workshop for use with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. In combination with a vertically adjustable front rest, this innovative rear joystick rest allows aiming to be controlled from the rear, with your left hand in a comfortable position. Yes this kind of adjustable rear rest is legal in NBRSA HG and LG classes, and in IBS Heavy Gun class.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

Straightpipes Rear Coaxial Rest — Design and Features
The rear rest is crafted from aluminum with a stainless steel forward-pointing joystick. Total weight, including the long, stabilizing base foot, is about 10 pounds. Though the rear rest doesn’t seem to have a large movement range, the system offers plenty of “on-target” travel. At 100 yards, the rest offers 10 MOA left, 10 MOA right, 5 MOA up, and 5 MOA down adjustment. That’s plenty of range for most targets, once you center the Point of Aim vertically using the captain’s wheel on the front rest, which Straightpipes also crafted himself. Click Square Photos Below to see Large Images.

Inside the rear cradle sits a Protektor rear sandbag, with Cordura fabric filled with ordinary sand. This fits the 3″-wide bottom of Straightpipes’ 40-lb heavy gun. There are some sophisticated components you can’t see in the photos. The rear rest can pivot (right or left slightly) to stay aligned with the front rest (as adjusted to level the cant of the rifle). Straightpipes says: “With the pivot, whatever I do to the front, the rear follows.” The basket (cradle) also employs a 20-lb bias spring system to handle the weight of the Heavy Gun. This prevents the co-axial system from binding, so it is fluid and easy to operate. Even with 20 pounds of gun weight on the rear, the joystick can be easily manipulated with a light touch of thumb and fore-finger.

Video Shows Rear Coaxial Rest in Action

Watch the video below to see how the joystick controls the rear rest. Total joystick movement is about a 2.5″ sweep. This gives 20 MOA total windage adjustment at 100 yards, and about 10 MOA vertical.

About the Straightpipes Front Rest
The coaxial rear rest is designed to work with the massive front rest as a system, though they are NOT connected, so as to comply with IBS Heavy Gun rules. The 30-lb front rest supports exactly half the weight of the rifle and is used to set gross elevation. Windage and fine elevation is controlled in the rear. Straightpipes also designed and built his beefy front rest himself. As with his rear coaxial unit, the front rest pieces were all shaped by hand on a belt sander after being milled out. Straitpipes even “finish-sculpted some pieces with hand files the old craftsmen way.” The main center support column was milled with extremely fine threads. This allows the captain’s wheel to turn with little effort and no locking mechanism is required. Straightpipes does not need to fuss with locking knobs when he sets gross elevation. To help keep the unit from binding, there are stainless guide shafts on the left and right. These shafts slide in oil-impregnated bronze bushings.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

40-lb Barrel Block Heavy Gun with Savage Action
Straightpipes built this beautiful set of rests to work with his 40-lb Heavy Gun. Chambered in 7mm WSM, the gun features a Savage Target Action, and a Brux 32″, 1.300″ straight-diameter barrel fitted with a custom barrel nut. The barrel is clamped forward of the action in a 9″-long barrel block. This allows the Savage action to free-float. The block, also built by Straightpipes, looks fairly standard, but it has some clever design features. Between the barrel and the block there is sleeve that is slightly compressed when the block’s bolts are tensioned. This sleeve, made of a proprietary material, eliminates metal to metal contact between barrel and block. Straightpipes believes this enhances accuracy and provides some damping. Other shooters with barrel-block guns have used epoxy between block and barrel, but that makes disassembly difficult. The sleeve system on Straightpipes’ gun allows the barreled action to be easily removed from the stock. In addition, the compressed sleeve system is very stable — Straightpipes doesn’t have to fiddle with the bolt torques on his block.

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

‘Black Beauty’ Stock Made from Resin-Soaked Laminated Wood, with Rust-Oleum Finish
Straightpipes built the beefy stock himself. It is made from “red oak” wood soaked in resin and then laminated together with JB Weld. The rear section features a polished aluminum buttplate and twin metal “runners” on the underside, where the stock rides the Protektor Cordura bag. Straightpipes says the stock is very stable: “it absolutely does not flex or warp with changes in temp or humidity”. We asked Straightpipes about the stock finish. To our surprise, “Pipes” revealed he used inexpensive Rust-Oleum fine texture outdoor furniture paint. “Pipes” told us: “I’ve been using this stuff for years. It’s abrasion proof and tough as nails — the bags won’t wear it off. It’s solvent-proof, won’t get soft or bubble up. It cleans up with a damp cloth, just rub it down and it looks like new.”

Rear coaxial Rest Heavy gun

As designed and crafted by Straightpipes, this Heavy Gun rest system is impressive. The rear rest is brilliantly simple, and beautifully finished. But the important question is: “how does it shoot?”. Straightpipes reports that the whole system exceeds his expectations: “The rear rest actuation is smooth and positive. It works smoothly in conjunction with the front rest. Everything is working together — there’s nothing that’s fighting another element of the system. The gun tracks straight. When it returns to battery, the thing is pretty much waiting for you shot after shot.” The rear rest’s small footprint allows the “driver” to sit comfortably behind the rig. Straightpipes reports: “Shooters can ‘address the rifle’ just like a Light Gun — you’re not straining to wrap your arm around something overly massive. Anybody can shoot this, it’s a very easy gun to shoot.”

Is it accurate? In a word, “Yes”. Straightpipes doesn’t want to make claims before the rig has been tested in competition, but he says it has “shot groups at 600 and 1000 yards that would be very competitive.” We promised not to publish group sizes yet, but we can tell you that at 600 yards in good conditions it drilled some “scary small” 5-shot groups, well, well under 1/4 MOA.

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April 11th, 2021

Guide to Case Lubricants — Spray, Liquid, Wax, and Dry Lube

Cartridge Case lubrication imperial Die wax case sizing reloading

Sinclair International has a good article on Case Lubrication which shows the various products and application methods available. Part of Sinclair’s Step-By-Step Reloading series, the article shows how to apply Spray Lube, Die Wax, or conventional lube from a Pad. The story also explains how to use dry lube to slick up the inside of your case necks.

Spray Lubes
High-volume reloaders often turn to spray-on lubricants such as the RCBS Case Slick (#749-001-341WB) or the Hornady One Shot (#749-016-818WB) to quickly lubricate large numbers of cases at once. An indispensable piece of gear that helps make spray lubing easy is a polymer lube rack that holds cases upright and arranged to maximize their exposure to the spray.

Hornady spray cartridge case Lube

Editor’s Note: Ballistol Aerosol is other good spray product for regular full-length sizing (not heavy case-forming). It goes on clear (no chalky residue), it is ultra-slippery, and it will remove the carbon from your case necks as you apply Ballistol with a patch. This is my primary spray lube — but many folks dislike the distinctive Ballistol smell. Try before you buy.

diewax1601Sizing Die Wax
Over the years, many benchrest shooters have come to trust Imperial Sizing Die Wax (#749-001-052) for their case lube needs. It offers high lubricity and easily wipes off with a paper towel. In fact, its lubricity makes it a popular choice for case forming, for those wildcat folks who need to form their own unique or obsolete cartridges. Unlike lube pads or spray lubes, sizing wax is applied more naturally. You just put a little on your fingers and transfer it to the cases by handling them. As simple and easy as Imperial Sizing Die Wax is to use, it’s probably best for low-volume applications.

Dry Lubricant
Redding’s Imperial Application Media (#749-001-166) is a dry neck lube used to lube the inside of the neck, whether you’re full-length sizing or neck-sizing only. It consists of ceramic spheres coated with a fine graphite-based powder. You simply dip the neck into the container for a second to pick up the right amount of lube. This lube lets the expander ball move smoothly throughout the case neck instead of “grabbing” or “chattering”. That minimizes case neck stretching.

Cartridge Case lubrication imperisal Die wax case sizing reloading

Editor’s Note: Dry Lube is also very useful if you ultrasonically clean your cases. After the ultrasound process, the inside of the case neck can be so “squeaky clean” that bullets don’t seat smoothly. A quick application of dry lube on the insisde of the necks will help bullets slide into the neck easier. As a result, the neck “grip” on the bullets should be more consistent from round-to-round. Consistent neck tension is key to accuracy and uniform velocities.

DIY Case Lube Instructions from UltimateReloader.com »

Tired of spending $15-$25 for a can of spray lube that doesn’t last very long? For about the same price as a single 10 oz. can you can make your own effective spray lube that should last for multiple seasons and lube thousands of cases quickly and easily.

In the YouTube video above Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com shows how to make your own case lube using simple, inexpensive ingredients. First recommended by the 6.5 Guys, this Liquid Lanolin + Isopropyl Alcohol mix works well and is very cost-effective. Here’s what you need:

1. Swan Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, Pint, 16 Ounce (2-pack)
2. Home Health Liquid Lanolin, 4 Ounce
3. Chemical Guys ACC_121.16HD-3PK Chem. Resistant Heavy Duty Bottle/Sprayer (16 oz.)

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April 11th, 2021

Picatinny Forearm Rail Adapter Mounts on Swivel Stud

STR Harris Stud Rail Adapter Sling Swivel

Here’s a cleverly-designed product that adds versatility to any rifle with a front sling swivel stud. This clever Stud Rail Adapter (SRA) allows you to mount a Picatinny Rail on a sling swivel stud. With the SRA in place, you can attach any accessories that clamp to a Pic rail, such as lights, lasers, pistol grips, or rail-affixed tactical bipods. And look carefully — the SRA’s designers included a sling swivel at the inboard end of the unit. That way you can mount Picatinny-rail accessories and still use your carry sling.

Sold by Harrisbipods.com, the SRA Stud Rail Adapter retails for $47.85. This adapter is crafted in the USA by MIM Mfg. from 6061 TG Aluminum with a black anodized finish. This can be used with the RBA-1 and RBA-2 bipod adapters.

STR Harris Stud Rail Adapter Sling Swivel

This adapter is a useful invention, particularly for those who might want to mount a light or clamp-on bipod to a varmint rifle. Most hunting rifles have a front sling swivel stud and there is now a very wide selection of Picatinny-rail-mounted accessories.

NOTE: HarrisBipods.com is a web retailer. This is NOT Harris Engineering, the manufacturer of Harris bipods. HarrisBipods.com does sell the full line of Harris bipods and most Harris accessories.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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April 10th, 2021

Weakside Bolt Placement — When and Why It Works

left port McMillan Rifle

Most bolt-action rifle shooters work the bolt with their trigger-pulling hand. This is because most rifles sold to right-handed shooters come with right-side bolts, while “lefty” rifles come with left-side bolts. This “standard” configuration requires the shooter to take his dominant, trigger-pulling hand off the stock to cycle the bolt, then re-position his hand on the stock, and “re-claim” the trigger. Often the shooter must lift or move his head to work the bolt, and that also requires him to re-establish his cheek weld after each and every shot. Not good.

This really doesn’t make much sense for precision shooting with fore-end support*. There is a better way. If you leave your trigger hand in position and work the bolt (and feed rounds) with the opposite hand, then you don’t need to shift grip and head position with each shot. All this requires is a weakside-placed bolt, i.e. a left bolt for a right-handed shooter or a right bolt for a left-handed shooter. The video below shows a “Lefty” working a right bolt. Note how efficient this is:

As our friend Boyd Allen explains: “If you think about it, if you are going to work with a factory action where your options are left bolt and left port or right bolt and right port, and you are building a rifle that will only be shot from a rest, using the left/left for a RH shooter or using a right/right for a LH shooter works better than the conventional configuration”.

Shoot Like a Champ and Work the Bolt with Your Weakside Hand
Derek Rodgers, the current F-TR World Champion and the only person to have won BOTH F-Open and F-TR U.S. National Championships plus the King of 2 Miles Match, runs this kind of “opposite” bolt set-up. Yep, Derek shoots right-handed with a left bolt. Though Derek is a right-hander, he shoots with a Left Bolt/Left Port (LBLP) action. He pulls the trigger with his right index finger, while working the left-side bolt with his left (weakside) hand. This allows him to stay in position, and maintain his cheekweld. He places his right hand on the grip, while manipulating the bolt (and feeding rounds) with his non-trigger-pulling hand.

Recent F-TR World Champion and King of 2 Miles Derek Rodgers
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

This is the rifle with which Derek won the 2013 F-TR National Championship.
left port McMillan Rifle Derek Rodgers

*For true standing, off-hand shooting (whether in competition or on a hunt), a conventional strongside bolt placement makes sense, since the non-dominant arm must support the front of the rifle all the time. When shooting from bipod or rest, it’s a different story.

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April 10th, 2021

Springfield Armory — Daily Web Content and New Print Magazine

Springfield armory life article

Since its launch two years ago, The Armory Life website has offered a wide variety of well-illustrated, firearms-centric content. The website features categories ranging from firearms, CCW, survival, tactics, training and much more, delivering in-depth daily content. All the stories feature plenty of photos and many daily features also include informative videos. And now, Springfield Armory will be offering a quarterly PRINT Magazine to complement the digital content — so you get the best of both worlds.

Springfield Armory offers plenty of content online you can read for FREE. Here are six recent Armory Life digital stories we recommend. Click the image to launch each article. CLICK HERE to read hundreds of other articles on TheArmoryLife.com.


Click Each Frame Below to Load Story from TheArmoryLife.com

Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article
Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article
Springfield armory life article Springfield armory life article

Springfield armory life articleSpringfield Now Offers Quarterly Print Magazine
The Armory Life has launched a new quarterly print publication to complement the daily digital content on TheArmoryLife.com. See Cover at top of this article. This new quarterly magazine provides a new way to consume content. This full-color, 96-page quarterly magazine features in-depth gun and gear reviews, interviews with luminaries in the firearms community, tips and tactics, and much more. These new quarterly magazines complement Springfield Armory’s current Digital Magazines (example at right).

Mike Humphries, editor-in-chief of the new quarterly print magazine states: “With four 96-page issues a year packed with content and closely integrated with the website, this magazine will provide our readers with yet another means of living The Armory Life.”

Print Magazine Features Scannable QR codes Linked to Web Content
The new print magazine integrates closely with its digital sibling, TheArmoryLife.com, via easy-to-use QR codes. Simply open up your camera app on your smartphone and scan the QR code, and you’ll be taken online to expanded content, video segments, and much more. Currently, recipients of The Armory Life print magazine are selected from Springfield Armory warranty registrants. Each will receive a full year’s worth (four issues) of the magazine.

“The Armory Life print magazine represents a bold new means for learning about not only the latest Springfield Armory products, but also what’s going on in the entire shooting community,” says Steve Kramer, Vice President of Marketing for Springfield Armory. “This new publication will be a terrific resource for fans of The Armory Life.”

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, News, Tactical Post comment »
April 10th, 2021

Gun Talk Sunday — Threats to Second Amendment Examined

Gun Talk Radio Tom Gresham

With the aggressive anti-gun stance of the Biden administration, and the President’s demonstrated willingness to rule via authoritarian Executive Orders, bypassing the legislative process, all gun owners should be concerned about serious attacks on their Second Amendment rights.

The latest gun control actions from the White House and the Democratic-party controlled Congress are the key focal points of Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk® Radio show this Sunday, April 11, 2021. In its 26th year of national syndication, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk show airs live on Sundays from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern, and runs on more than 270 stations every week. Listen on a radio station near you or via live streaming on your computer or mobile device.

Gun Talk Radio Tom Gresham

Authoritarianism: The principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. In government, authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law[.]
— Definition from Encyclopedia Brittanica

Gun Control and 2d Amendment Sanctuaries To Be Discussed

This week, Tom talks with BearingArms.com editor Cam Edwards about recent gun control actions at both the state and federal levels, including President Biden’s recently announced gun control executive orders. Plus, Noah Davis has put together an extensive list of counties and cities that are enacting laws to protect gun rights in 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries. And Brownell’s Roy Hill joins Tom to discuss building and upgrading firearms (particularly ARs) with products showcased in the new Brownells Armory.

Tom Gresham Gun Talk Radio

Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio show airs live on Sundays from 2PM-5PM Eastern. Listen on a radio station near you or via LIVE Streaming. All Gun Talk shows can also be downloaded as podcasts through the GunTalk Podcast Center or Apple iTunes. Gun Talk is also available on YouTube and GunTalk.com. As always, call 866-TALK-GUN with your comments, questions, and range reports.

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April 9th, 2021

The CRPS — Rimfire Tactical Competition in Canada

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

The Canadian Precision Rimfire Series (CRPS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2018 to promote competitive shooting sports for Canadians coast-to-coast. The CRPS now hosts 100+ events with over 1500 competitors annually. The CRPS was created to provide shooters across Canada with a challenging environment to test their precision shooting skills using .22 LR rimfire rifles. Matches are held throughout Canada to allow all Canadians a chance to see how they “stack up” against the rest of the country. The CRPS has three divisions: Open Class; Production Class (Rifle $500 USD MSRP max, Optics $700 USD MSRP max); and Youth Class (competitors under 18 years at season start). These events give shooters of all budgets an opportunity to test their skills and equipment under demanding conditions.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series

Using a PRS-style match format, with timed stages, competitors engage 1-5 steel targets per stage. Targets are placed from 50 to 300 meters. Target sizes range from 1/2″ to 9″. The steel targets are shot from a variety of positions. Many stages involve a challenging set of platforms or barricade rests.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series

CRPS Match Video — Watch the Action

This video is well worth watching. It shows actual CRPS rimfire tactical matches, showing stages and discussing match strategies. The video also shows a wide collection of rimfire tactical rifles and accessories.

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

Canadian Precision Rimfire Series CRPS

What Gear You Need for CRPS Matches

How to Get Started
Are you just starting out? Wondering what you should bring to a rimfire tactical match? CRPS Staffer Matt explains the essential match gear you will need, including rifle, support bags, mags, and chamber flags. Check out his “Womfat” YouTube Channel for more helpful videos.

Youth Competitors – Free Registration
The Canadian Rimfire Precision Series (CRPS) promotes junior competitors. That’s great because this is a definitely a fun sport for young shooters. To help get young shooters involved, the CRPS allocate five (5) free registration spots per match for youth shooters (under 18 years) when accompanied by a registered shooter. That registered adult does not have to be a family member.

Savage Sponsorship of CRPS

CRPS Savage B22 Precision .22 LR rimfire tactical rifle

Savage Arms is a 2021 Gold Sponsor of the Canadian Rimfire Precision Series. Rick Katigbak, CRPS Founder and President, observed: “The partnership with Savage Arms will allow the CRPS to host more events in 2021 and provide competitors with the opportunity to see, first-hand, Savage’s line of precision rimfire rifles including the new competition-oriented B22 Precision models“.

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April 9th, 2021

RCBS MatchMaster Dies — Review and Free Dies Promotion

rcbs reloading matchmaster loading die seating die micrometer bushing neck sizing die full-length

RCBS offers a series of premium MatchMaster Competition Dies. These are available in Full-Length Sizing, Neck Sizing, and Seating configurations. These new MatchMaster dies are notable for four features:

1. The Competition Seating Die has a “view-port” for the bullet.
2. The Competition Seating Die features a self-centering, free-floating bullet-seating stem.
3. Expanders are titanium-nitride coated for reduced friction. Both the Neck-Sizing and FL-Sizing dies come with TiN expanders for smoother case extraction and reduced brass build-up on the expander.
4. RCBS is offering its own precision-machined Neck Bushings.

No More Mashed Fingers When Seating Bullets
RCBS notes: “Reloaders will love that they can end smashed fingers and misaligned bullets with the specially-designed bullet window [on the Seating Die]. And users can fine-tune any load … with the micrometer-adjustable, free-floating, self-centering bullet seating stem.”

RCBS Product Manager Will Hemeyer explained that the new Competition Seater is a game-changer. “What sets the MatchMaster Seating Die apart from the competition is a bullet-seating window with bullet-retaining system. Simply place the bullet in the window and raise the case into the die to seat the bullet. Couple this with a micrometer-adjustable, free-floating, self-centering bullet-seating stem[.]”

Buy MatchMaster Powder Dispenser, Get Free RCBS MatchMaster Die Set plus $100 MidwayUSA Gift Certificate
To make these dies even more attractive, right now, though the end of April, 2021, you can get a FREE set of MatchMaster Dies if you purchase an RCBS MatchMaster electronic powder scale/dispenser.

RCBS Matchmaster dispenser free dies $100 Gift Certificate

Right now, with an RCBS Promo, you’ll get both FL sizing die and micrometer seating die for FREE if you buy the $899.00 MatchMaster. The retail value of the die set is $185.95. But wait — it gets even better. If you purchase from MidwayUSA you get a $100 MidwayUSA Gift Certificate. To qualify for the Free Dies deal, the MatchMaster must be purchased 4/1/2021 through 4/30/2021.

MatchMaster Dies Tested by Ultimate Reloader

Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has tested the new RCBS MatchMaster Dies in 6mm Creedmoor. He was very impressed with the new Competition Seater and he liked the TiN-coated expanders on the sizing dies. Watch Gavin’s video:

rcbs reloading matchmaster loading die seating die micrometer bushing neck sizing die full-length

Why Use Expander with Bushing Dies?
Some viewers of Gavin’s video asked if an expander is superfluous when using neck-bushing dies. The answer is “it depends”. The bushings reduce neck diameter from the OUTSIDE. The expander should make the INSIDE of the neck perfectly round. Some hand-loaders prefer to take the necks down a couple thousandths below final loading diameter, then finish the job with an expander. That ensures the INSIDE of the case neck is perfectly concentric. This can be particularly useful for brass that has somewhat inconsistent neck-wall thickness. Bottom line, you can run these dies without expanders if you want, but that option is available. The expander is also removable so the assembly can be used for de-capping only.

MactchMaster Neck-Sizing Only Die
The MatchMaster Neck Sizing Die Set also uses RCBS neck bushings to control neck tension while not changing the body dimensions of fired cases. Frankly we strongly recommend that you full-length size your rifle rounds, but we acknowledge that some hand-loaders prefer to neck size for some applications. The MatchMaster Neck Sizing Dies do include a titanium-nitride coated expander, just like the FL-sizing MatchMaster dies.

To learn more about the new MatchMaster Competition Dies, visit www.RCBS.com.

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April 9th, 2021

When Light is Right — Two-Pound Koa Wood Silhouette Stock

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Gunsmith/stockmaker Doan Trevor created a lovely, one-of-a-kind silhouette stock for an Anschutz rimfire action. Built as a true custom design, this stock combines ideal standing position ergonomics with light weight — the entire stock weighs a mere two pounds. This project really showcases Doan’s remarkable skills with wood. Read the full story about this project (with more photos) at DoanTrever.com.

Doan explains his design process: “A customer came to me wanting to know if I could build a silhouette stock that was 2 pounds or less. I used the Koa wood because it is a lower specific gravity than Walnut (which makes it lighter) and stronger. I was still able to use pillar bedding and keep the weight down. The fore-end could be shortened to reduce the weight even more.

Since the drops on a silhouette rifle are different than a prone rifle, I kept the pistol grip from the prone rifle which is comfortable and tried to come up with a higher cheek piece and more drop to the buttplate. All of this required lots of hand carving.”

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

Doan Trevor gunstock koa wood silhouette Anschutz rimfire carve stock

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April 8th, 2021

Thunder Downunder — New Zealand North Island Rifle Match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target RifleNew Zealand is a beautiful country with rich, verdant green hills, snowcapped Southern Alps, thousands of miles of coastline, and abundant, unspoiled nature. Here’s quick look at what it’s like to shoot in New Zealand, aka Aoteoroa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand has a long, proud heritage of Marksmanship, and the little island country has hosted major international matches in recent years. This report is from a regional club match hosted at the Clevedon Rifle Club in the North Island, south of Auckland. The club website says: “At Clevedon we shoot from 300 yards back to 1000 yards, mainly with single-shot target rifles in any caliber up to 8mm. There are several styles of target shooting, Target Rifle with open sights and supporting the rifle with a sling, F-Class where a rest and telescopic sights are used and Hunter Class where standard hunting rifles with a support are used. The shooting season goes from September until May. The range is situated on a working farm so changes to the club program happen around hay making [and other farm activities].”

Clevedon New Zealand club match

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

These photos are from the Clevedon Rifle Club in Clevedon NZ (North Island), south of the Auckland metropolitan zone. The range is on a working farm near the Clevedon Scenic Reserve and Hanua Ranges Regional Park. These images were posted on the New Zealand NRA Facebook page.

Sunshine Down Under with Competition at 300, 500, and 600 Yards
The Kiwi club reports: “Round 5 of the Clevedon Club Championships was completed today over 300, 500, and 600 yards in fine, sunny conditions. This is the finish of the short ranges with the Long Range [matches set for] next Saturday. Being Easter weekend we had a great turn out with 28 shooters, still managed to get people shooting on the wrong target. The four divisions were F-Open, F-TR, FPR (Field Precision Rifle), and Target Rifle. Next Saturday, 10 April, shooting is over 800, 900 and 1000 yards, last round of the Club Champs, set up from 8:15 and shooting to start at 9am At 800 yards.”

What is FPR Class?
The FPR (Field Precision Rifle) class is for shooters with muzzle brakes or suppressors (not allowed in normal F-Class rules), and are generally bolt-action rifles purchased from retail stores. Commonly used are the Ruger RPR, Remington 700, and Savage variants. EDITOR: We would like to see the FPR Class get started here is the USA. It seems like a good way to expand participation with more affordable rifles.

Clevedon New Zealand club match F-TR FPR F-Open Sling Target Rifle

Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
April 8th, 2021

Get FREE Bushnell Ballistics APP with Applied Ballistics Software

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

Bushnell offers a good FREE new Ballistics App powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite Engine. The new Bushnell Ballistics App easily calculates ballistic solutions for any popular cartridge type once you input velocity, BC, and atmospherics. The App features trusty Applied Ballistics bullet data, and it can even pull in atmospheric data from web weather sources. This allows you to calculate hold-overs and make precise wind corrections. The App is offered in both iOS (Apple) and Android OS versions.

“The Bushnell Ballistics App is powered by the Applied Ballistics Ultralite engine, the most trusted ballistics data-cruncher in the industry,” said Bushnell Marketing Manager Matt Rice. “This App allows users to easily build and modify gun profiles and build range cards to calculate firing solutions based on their specific scope and ammunition choices. All of our Bushnell scopes and reticles have been pre-loaded [in the App].”

Bushnell Applied Ballistics App iOS Android Google Play

The Bushnell App features AB Connect, a live library of G1/G7 data, plus the Applied Ballistics Bullet Library with 740+ pre-loaded bullet profiles. The Bushnell scope library features 150+ scopes and 30 reticle options. Atmospheric data can be updated manually or directly from the internet (when connected). Angle range compensation is also calculated. Gun profile management provides up to five saved profiles with reticle-based firing solutions. A multiple target feature saves up to five targets. Range cards can be shared or printed using the Email Range Card Function.

The FREE App works on both Android and iOS operating systems, and is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It is optimized for Bushnell riflescopes and reticles, but is compatible with all optics. Once downloaded, the App functions off the grid — no cell service required.

“The new Bushnell Ballistic App puts the power of long-range, first-shot accuracy into the hands of any shooter,” Rice said. “it was designed to perform in any condition and to offer our consumers true value, with features that far exceed the price — which, in this case, is free!”

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April 8th, 2021

Practical Shooting Skills for Hunters — Field Rests

Thomas Haugland HuntingHunting season is here — and we know many of our readers will soon head to the woods in pursuit of deer, elk, or other game. To make a good shot, it’s wise to rest your rifle when possible. In this video, methods for stabilizing a rifle in the field are demonstrated by Forum member Thomas Haugland, who hails from Norway. Thomas focuses on practical field shooting skills for hunters. In this video, Thomas (aka ‘Roe’ on Forum and Sierra645 on YouTube) shows how to verify his zeros from bipod and then he demonstrates improvised field rests from the prone, kneeling, and sitting positions.

Thomas explains: “In this video I focus on basic marksmanship techniques and making ready for this year’s hunt. As a last check before my hunting season, I got to verify everything for one last time. My trajectory is verified again, the practical precision of the rifle is verified. I also practice making do with the best [improvised] rest possible when an opportunity presents itself. After getting knocked in the face by a 338LM rifle during a previous filming session, I had to go back to basics to stop [flinching]. I include some details from bipod shooting that hopefully some hunters will find useful. Fingers crossed for this years season, good luck!”

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
April 7th, 2021

Vudoo Gunworks Offers New 3-Lug “Three 60″ Rimfire Rifle

Vudoo gun works three 60 360 .22 LR rimfire action three lug 60 degree bolt

Vudoo Gun Works has introduced its new Vudoo Three 60 three-lug repeater rifle. This is an impressive repeater rimfire rifle. The Vudoo Three 60 features a 3-lug bolt with a 60-degree throw and a 12 O’Clock ignition. This combination uses the same internal 3-lug geometry of the Vudoo V22s single shot action, ensuring light bolt lift along with smooth and consistent bolt alignment with the bore.

Vudoo gun works three 60 360 .22 LR rimfire action three lug 60 degree bolt

Users will enjoy the same accuracy performance known across the entire Vudoo family of rifles. The Vudoo Three 60 will be offered alongside the already popular V22 two lug repeater, V22m Magnum repeater, and V22s Single Shot Target Rifle.

The Patented Vudoo Three 60 Rimfire repeater action was engineered in response to requests for a 3-lug 60-degree bolt throw repeater action. Like all current Vudoo V22 actions, the Three 60 fire control group offers a toolless disassembly by way of a unique bayonet-style locking system between the shroud, bolt body, and bolt nose.

Vudoo gun works three 60 360 .22 LR rimfire action three lug 60 degree boltVudoo Gun Works Three 60 Rifle Features
Remington 700 Short Action Footprint
Remington 700 Pinned Trigger Interface
Available in right and left hand
60 Degree Bolt throw
12 O’clock Ignition
3 Lug Bolt Design
Toolless Bolt Disassembly

New Vudoo Three 60 Should Please 3-Lug Centerfire Rifle Owners
Paul Parrott, Vudoo Gun Works CEO, explains: “The Three 60 configuration has been highly requested by our Vudoo family and [is] the logical next step in our product line. Is it more accurate than the 2-lug version? No, it’s just the next evolution in our ongoing commitment to redefine rimfire. The guys who will love it most are 3-lug centerfire shooters and those needing more bolt/optic clearance.”

ORDER CHANGE/UPDATE: Customers who have existing, not-yet-completed orders can change their order (for $50 more) to the new Vudoo Three 60 by CLICKING HERE. Then fill out the ORDER UPDATE PAGE.

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April 7th, 2021

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge on ShootingUSA

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

Today, Wednesday April 7, 2021, Shooting USA TV features the Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge. This is a unique, one-of-a-kind match set in 2000 acres of natural terrain at the Cameo Shooting Complex in Colorado. The match replicates long-range hunting challenges, with steel targets sized to simulate the vitals of western game animals. Some 135 competitors engaged steel targets in 20 challenging stages.

Match Director Scott Satterlee says, “This is as close as it can get to mountain hunting. We have vital-sized targets out there. They are 12-inch squares turned to diamonds which are really difficult to hit”.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

SHOOTING USA TV Air Times
View Shooting USA on the Outdoor Channel: Wednesdays 9:00 PM (Eastern and Pacific); 8:00 PM Central.
NOTE: If you miss the 1/13/2021 broadcast, you can still view the show on Vimeo for a small 99-cent fee, or just $1.99 per month unlimited. LINK HERE: Shooting USA on Vimeo.

The inaugural Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge took place in Colorado August 8 and 9. This unique competition involved lots of hiking with various shooting positions in challenging natural terrain. The unique match was hosted at the Cameo Shooting Complex near Grand Junction, CO.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

There were 135 registered competitors — quite a turn-out for a physically demanding match in a fairly remote location. Congrats to Heavy Class and Overall Winner Brian Black who topped the field with 140 Match points (100% of possible). Brian shot a 6.5×47 Lapua with Berger 6.5mm 140gr Hybrids. Brian’s winning rig featured a Lone Peak Arms Fuzion action, Benchmark barrel, and XLR Element chassis.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

The Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge tests a rifleman’s fitness and skills as marksman and hunter. The stages were blind with a 4-minute time limit to move to the shooting area, locate, range, and engage targets. Shooters could choose between two rifle weight classes (light or heavy) and had to meet a minimum power factor cartridge requirement that helped even the playing field. The match featured a diverse course of fire with a good mix of prone and natural terrain shooting positions.

Hornady Precision Hunter Steel Challenge Cameo Grand Junction Colorado CO PRS

CLICK HERE for 100 More Match Photos (Facebook Album) »

hornady hunting ammoHunting Ammo Tested by Shooting USA
In this same episode, Shooting USA tests a variety of Hornady hunting ammo offerings on the G.A. Precision private gun range in Missouri. (We’d love to have our own private range like that!) Jason Hornady says his company starts the design of all hunting ammunition with bullet selection: “For us it started with the bullet … for us the bullet still makes the cartridge.”.

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April 7th, 2021

Barrett Wins Army Sniper Rifle Contract with Multi-Caliber MK22

Barrett Firearms MRAD MK22 multi caliber sniper rifles .308 win .300 Norma magnum .338 Lapua Magnum
See Barrett MRAD MK22 Range Report with VIDEO in Guns America Digest.

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing has been awarded a five-year $49.9 million contract under the U.S. Army Precision Sniper Rifle program with its MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) MK22 MOD 0 rifle, paired with a Leupold Mark 5 HD scope. The MK22 system will replace several current U.S. Army sniper rifles.

Barrett Firearms MRAD MK22 multi caliber sniper rifles .308 win .300 Norma magnum .338 Lapua Magnum

Designed for precision and modularity, the MK22 provides cartridge-choice flexibility within the highly successful MRAD rifle platform. By switching barrels, this multi-caliber bolt action rifle can be used with 7.62x51mm, .300 Norma Magnum (NM) and .338 Norma Magnum (NM) cartridge types, based on the mission. The Army stated that the new MRAD MK22 rifle “increases stand-off distances ensuring overmatch against enemy counter sniper engagements and increases sniper capability.” More Details HERE.

The Mark 22 comes standard with a folding stock and an action/chassis system that easily allows changeable barrels. Barrels can be quickly swapped by loosening two Torx-30 screws. The MK22 spec sheets list a 2.5-lb trigger pull. The complete field package weigh 24 pounds, including rifle, Leupold Mark 5 HD scope, two magazines, and disassembly tool.

Barrett Firearms MRAD MK22 multi caliber sniper rifles .308 winchester win .300 Norma magnum .338 Lapua Magnum
Read more about Barrett’s MRAD MK22 Rifle in Guns America Digest.

Civilian Version of Mark 22 Will Be Available
For a limited time, Barrett will offer Mark 22 rifles with the serious price of $16,770. Yes you can buy a pretty nice used car for that. But military-grade quality doesn’t come cheap. The Leupold Mark 5 HD optic adds $2,300 to the price.

According to SofRep.com : “The MRAD … has been primarily designed for the U.S. Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) program that seeks to replace the current sniper rifles with new, more effective ones. The ASR program was stipulated for a bolt-action rifle that could use three different calibers (the .300 Norma Magnum, .338 Norma Magnum, and 7.62 NATO). Further, it requires the sniper rifle to be able to hit with accuracy targets at a minimum of 1,500 meters. The rationale behind the multiple calibers is to give shooters the ability to tailor their shots according to the situation they face on the battlefield.”

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April 6th, 2021

Nancy Tompkins Wins 3rd Straight Western Wildcat Smallbore

Lapua Nancy Tompkins Western Wildcat winner Ben Avery Arizona

For the third consecutive year, Team Lapua member Nancy Tompkins has brought home the Western Wildcat International Smallbore title using Lapua Center-X .22 LR ammunition. The Western Wildcat event was hosted by the Desert Sharpshooters Rifle Club March 15-21, 2021 at the Ben Avery Shooting Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. Tompkins won the Grand Aggregate with a commanding 6392-508X (of possible 6400). This year marked a “three-peat” for Nancy, who also won the last two Western Wildcat smallbore titles.

Tompkins Lapua Center-X .22LR ammunition is matched to her firearm at Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Center in Mesa, Arizona. Unique lots of ammunition are tested at 50 and 100 meters simultaneously, identifying the best performing ammunition for purchase. This testing service is available to all shooters who wish to gain a competitive advantage. Schedule your testing here at either of Lapua’s Rimfire Performance Centers located in Mesa, AZ or Marengo, OH.

Lapua Nancy Tompkins Western Wildcat winner Ben Avery Arizona

Tompkins stated, “The 2021 Western Wildcat Smallbore matches were challenging, but a great time of shooting and enjoying friends. It was just a year ago that the world was shut down due to the pandemic. The 2020 Wildcat was canceled as was most everything for many months. While travel is still challenging for some and impossible for our overseas friends, we had over a dozen first time shooters to the Wildcat and thankfully many of our longtime participants.”

“I always say that the best part of shooting is the people, and that still holds true. That includes the shooters, the workers, and the sponsors that contribute their time and/or product to make this match what it is. I would like to thank Lapua for making precision ammo that allows me and others to achieve their highest possible scores. Winning the Western Wildcat three times in a row is an honor for which I am truly thankful.” — Nancy Tompkins

Nancy Tompkins Cactus Classic rimfire

Permalink Competition, News 3 Comments »
April 6th, 2021

Springfield M1A Resources and M1A Match at Camp Perry

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

Do you own a Springfield M1A (or wish you did)? Then you should watch this 5-minute video from the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI). This video shows the basics of the operation of the popular M1A rifle, the civilian version of the military M14. In this video, gunsmith John Bush field-strips the M1A and shows how the bolt, op rod, and trigger group fits together and operates. This video contains excerpts from the M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course, AGI Course #1584. The full Armorer’s Course is available on DVD from www.AmericanGunsmith.com.

Watch Highlights of AGI M1A Rifle Armorer’s Course:

Springfield M1A rifle camp perry m14 .308 win AGI

Springfield M1A gunsmith armorer's course AGI

2021 CMP Springfield M1A Match at Camp Perry

The 14th annual Springfield Armory M1A Match will take place during the 2021 CMP National Rifle Matches. The CMP will host the event on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Competitors of all experience levels are encouraged to bring their M1A rifles to Camp Perry and compete. CMP Online Registration commenced April 1, 2021. The match is open to all individuals ages 12 and above. For more information contact the CMP at competitions@thecmp.org or call 419-635-2141 ext. 724 or 714.

Springfield M1A match high power rifle

The Springfield Armory M1A match began with one man’s idea and passion. Springfield Armory’s Mike Doy witnessed the waning of classic M1 Garand and M1A rifles from the competitive High Power firing lines. “I really wanted to get those M1A rifles out of safes and closets and back out onto the field. So 11 years ago, I promoted the idea of running an M1A-specific match at Camp Perry. That first year we had over 600 competitors and spectators.” Now the match offers some of the biggest pay-outs at Camp Perry. In recent years, Springfield Armory has donated over $25,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a $2,000 cash award to the overall winner.

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April 6th, 2021

Determine Your Dominant Eye with This Simple Test

6.5 Creedmoor Annealing

Shooting Sports USA Eye dominanceDo you know which one of your eyes is dominant? It’s easy to determine eye dominance with a simple exercise. Pick an object about 6-10 feet away (a light switch or door knob works well). Make an “OK” sign with your right hand (see photo) and hold that about 18″ from your face. Now, with both eyes open, look through the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. Center the circle on the object, so you can see the object in the middle.

Now, here’s the important part — while still holding your hand up, centered on the object, first close your right eye. If you don’t see the object anymore, then your right eye is dominant. If you still see the object, then repeat the procedure with the left eye shut and right eye open. If you don’t see the object when your left eye (only) is closed, then you are left-eye dominant.

6.5 Creedmoor AnnealingThe digital archives of Shooting Sports USA contain many interesting articles. A while back, Shooting Sports USA featured a “must-read” expert Symposium on Eye Dominance, as it affects both rifle and pistol shooting. No matter whether you have normal dominance (i.e. your dominant eye is on the same side as your dominant hand), or if you have cross-dominance, you’ll benefit by reading this excellent article. The physiology and science of eye dominance is explained by Dr. Norman Wong, a noted optometrist. In addition, expert advice is provided by champion shooters such as David Tubb, Lones Wigger, Dennis DeMille, Julie Golob, Jessie Harrison, and Phil Hemphill.

Top Rifle Champions Talk About Eye Dominance:

David Tubb — 11-Time National High Power Champion
I keep both eyes open, always. Some use an opaque blinder in rifle or shotgun shooting. If you close your non-dominant eye, you will not get as good a sight picture. If your aiming eye is not your dominant eye, you have even more of a problem to overcome.

Lones Wigger — World, National and Olympic Champion Rifleman
Shooters should try to use the dominant eye unless the vision is impaired and the non-dominant eye has better vision. You should always shoot with both eyes open since this will allow the shooting eye to function properly.

Dennis DeMille — National Service Rifle Champion
I close my non-shooting eye initially. Once I pick up my sight picture, it’s not something I focus on. For those that use a patch, I recommend that they use something white to block their view, rather than cover the eye.

Bruce Piatt — 2015 World Shooting Championship Winner
Some shooters, especially those with nearly equal or cross-dominance, will naturally find themselves squinting one eye. When anyone does this, you are also closing your dominant eye to some extent and adding stress to your face.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
April 5th, 2021

New Alliant Reloder TS 15.5 Powder — Outstanding Test Results

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Outstanding New Powder from Alliant — Reloder TS 15.5
New Product Review by DasherDude
Alliant has devloped a new temperature-stable powder for long range applications. According to Alliant, this is a “slower burning version of the popular RL 15 with TZ technology” and brings some significant advantages over RL 15 and powders in the similar burn rate range (like Varget). The powder is named “Reloder TS 15.5″ (RL TS 15.5) and is created using the same TZ technology used in Reloder 16 (RL 16) and Reloder 23 (RL 23) whereby it manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. That makes RL TS 15.5 extremely stable across the full temperature range a shooter may encounter.

When Can You Get This New Alliant RL TS 15.5 Powder?
Alliant tells us that new RL TS 15.5 should start arriving on dealer’s shelves by the end of the month. Officially: “We will be putting it into distribution probably in April 2021 sometime”. Remember you heard about this powder here first.

The burn rate of RL TS 15.5 lies between RL 15 and RL 16 making it ideal for loading heavier bullets in .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, .223 Rem, and 6mm wildcats such as the 6mm Dasher or 6 BRA (BR Ackley). Being a bit slower than RL 15, new TS 15.5 offers higher velocities for the same charge weight as well as ability to load heavier charges for additional velocity without generating excessive pressure.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Testing Reloder TS 15.5 in 6 Dasher and .308 Winchester

I got a chance to test a pre-production powder sample of RL TS15.5 from Alliant. In my own tests with my 6mm Dasher and .308 Win, I extensively compared it with Varget that I normally use in these cartridges. In both cases, the results were nothing short of spectacular.

Powder Characteristics and Metering
This is an extruded powder and looks and feels similar to RL 16. The kernels are about 0.03 – 0.04 grains each (with the resolution of A&D FX 120i scale). RL TS 15.5 meters very well, although I had to slightly adjust the AutoTrickler to get it to meter perfectly.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

As I found, later in the testing, that the powder compresses before it can generate excessive pressure in the Dasher, a drop tube helps to fill the case more efficiently if higher charges and velocities are desired.

6mm Dasher Test Rifle and Load
For testing I used my 6mm Dasher benchrest match rifle. This has a BAT 3L action, 28″ Krieger barrel, and McMillan stock. I use Lapua brass with CCI 450 primers to propel Berger 105gr Hybrids and this combination shoots quite well.

Test Firearm: 6mm Dasher, Bat 3L, 28″ 6mm HV Krieger Barrel, McMillan Stock.
Components: Lapua fire-formed brass, CCI 450 primers, Berger 105 grain Hybrid
Powder: Alliant Reloder TS 15.5

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Load Testing and Velocities

Test in 6mm Dasher — Excellent Velocity, Low ES/SD
The testing comprised of shooting groups at 100 yards with increasing powder charges (OCW method) and then selecting a node. That node was found at 33.4 grains. The accuracy was excellent with remarkably low Extreme Spread and Standard Deviation (ES/SD)

My usual load is 32.9 grains of Hodgdon Varget which runs 2925 fps with an ES of around 12 fps and SD around 5 fps. For comparison, 32.9 grains of RL TS 15.5 delivered a velocity of 3022 fps. That is 97 fps greater than Varget for the same load weight (of RL TS15.5).

When used in the 6 Dasher, RL TS 15.5 had ES of 13 for 28 Shots — Remarkable!
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

More Velocity Plus Consistent ES/SD
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacementWith the Dasher since the new node (the sweet spot) was found at 33.4 grains, that resulted in a velocity of 3050 fps (a 125 fps velocity increase) from the same rifle setup. Not only did the velocity increase, but the SD was lowered to 3.6 with an ES of 13 (calculated over 28 shots). You read that right… 13 fps ES over 28 shots!

At 34 grains without any drop tube, the load was compressed. However, there were no pressure signs. That indicates that the 6 Dasher cartridge can be loaded with a higher charge, if a drop tube was used.

.308 Winchester Velocity Results
Similar results (velocity gains) were obtained from my .308 Win with Berger 200.20X bullets. For the same charge of 44.2 grains, I recorded about 100 fps higher velocity with RL TS 15.5, compared to Varget.

Accuracy Results at 100 and 300 Yards — Very Impressive

How does RL TS 15.5 shoot on paper? Very well indeed.

6mm Dasher Load Testing with Various RL TS 15.5 Charge Weights
The groups on paper told similar stories. For the OCW method, I shot groups of increasing charges at 100 yards and then selected 33.4 grains as the optimum charge (incidentally, it was one ragged hole).

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

While testing at 300 yards, the conditions were very windy but since I was testing for vertical, the point of aim was kept the same for every shot. No attempt was made to correct for wind, so the groups spread horizontally (15 mph, 3 o’clock wind) but the vertical spread of all the groups was under 0.3 MOA. That gives me great hopes for the long-range capabilities of the powder.

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Thoughts and Conclusions

For the past year, Alliant powders have been a welcome surprise for this tester and they have found a home in my reloading room. I struggled to find a load for my .284 Win with H4831sc and H4350 before trying out Reloder 16 and voila, it was perfect.

I have used Hodgdon Varget powder for a long time in both my 6mm Dasher and my .308 Winchester. With the .308 Win I’ve used various bullets from 168 to 200 grains. Varget has served me well. I do always need to keep the powder charge in check and so the velocities are held back a bit. Now RL TS 15.5 looks like a very impressive competitor to Varget.

With Reloder TS 15.5, Alliant seems to have delivered a harmonious mix of great accuracy, higher velocities, and lower SDs without creating excessive pressure. All of this is delivered with a very temperature-stable package. The higher velocities may allow some shooters to hit a new, better-performing node. These qualities are highly sought after by long range shooters. Accordingly, I have no qualms in saying that Alliant has created a winner here.

Alliant Official Load Data for Reloder TS 15.5

Along with the cartridge types shown below, Alliant has also released load data for .30-06 Springfield, 7x57mm Mauser, .270 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, .257 Roberts, 22-250 Rem, and 224 Valkyrie. CLICK for all data (larger format).

CLICK HERE for PDF with ALL Reloder TS 15.5 Load Data »

Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement
Alliant powder Reloder Reloader 15.5 TS TS15.5 Temp Stable extruded new Varget replacement

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, News, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 5th, 2021

Bargain Finder 289: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto SA — Complete PSA Lower with Adj. Magpul FDE Stock — $249.99

ar16 ar rifle sporting MSR palmetto .223 5.56 lower upper receiver sale discount bargain
Good assembled lower with nice stock — add upper and you’re good to go

Get that AR lower while you still can. This complete Palmetto State Armory lower with Magpul stock is fully assembled. It will take a standard upper, which you can build or purchase later without an FFL. The lower is the section that much be purchased through an FFL with a background check. This lower features polished hammer and trigger components with nickel-plating for smoother trigger action. This lower is finished with a Magpul MOE Carbine Stock, Magpul MOE Trigger Guard, and Magpul MOE Grip.

2. MidwayUSA — Lee Breech Lock 50th Anniv. Press Kit, $199.99

Lee Breech lock single stage reloading press scale powder measure priming tool kit
Good press, powder measure plus many tools for crazy-low price

Though reloading tools are in high demand, right now you can get this very complete Lee 50th Anniversary multi-component kit for $199.99. The main attraction is the Lee Breech Lock Challenger Press with quick-change bushing. (We’ve used this press and it functions well.) In addition, you get a Lee Perfect Powder Measure, Safety Scale, Powder Funnel, and Safety Prime. The kit even includes variety of Case Prep tools: Case trimmer, Chamfer Tool, Primer Pocket-Cleaning tool.

3. EuroOptic.com — Vortex Riflescope Close-outs, Save Hundreds

Vortex optics scope sale close-out euro-optic
Great Value on Vortex Viper Series Close-outs

Vortex riflescopes offer great performance for the price with models suited for all shooting disciplines. Right now you can save hundreds on Vortex Viper scopes at EuroOptic.com, such as the 6-24x50mm Viper PST model. If you are looking for a good scope for varminting or fun matches this is an excellent option. And the Vortex Lifetime Warranty is one of the best in the business.

4. Midsouth — Hodgdon 2021 Annual Reloading Manual, $9.99

2021 hodgdon reloading manual cartridge loads IMR Winchester
Current Data with 5000+ loads, good modern resource

The Hodgdon 2021 Annual Reloading Manual contains data for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester smokeless propellants. There are over 5000 loads listed in the 168-page manual. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2021 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by leading gun and outdoor industry writers. Shooting Times magazine, the 2021 Hodgdon Annual Reloading Manual is now available on newsstands everywhere, or directly from Hodgdon. This edition has updated data for 33 cartridge types plus NEW data for 6mm ARC, 6.5 WBY RPM, 27 Nosler, and 458 SOCOM.

5. MidwayUSA — Leupold Mark IV 8.5-25x50mm M1, $999.99

Leupold 8.5-25x50mm Mark 4 tactical M1 Scope
Great value on superb Second Focal Plane scope with great glass

Here is an excellent optic for varmint shooting and local fun matches. This Leupold Mark 4 Long Range Tactical M1 offers optimal 8.5-25X power range for varminting, along with excellent low-light performance. NOTE: This has a Second Focal Plane reticle which we prefer for varmint hunting. The 1/4-MOA clicks are handy. Save $400 (28%) right now on this deal. This scope enjoys over 91% five-star reviews from actual purchasers. Here’s one review: “I purchased 2 of these at the sale price MidwayUSA has on them. At that price they are unbeatable in terms of toughness, clarity, repeatability. Excellent scope for the money!”

6. Cabela’s — BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod, $149.99

Bogpod black aluminum deathgrip PRS tripod hunting

Versatile tripod mounts quickly, securely — use for PRS/NRL or hunting.

This is a great tripod for long-range hunters and PRS/NRL competitors. The Clamp-type head quickly secures to your rifle’s forearm for a secure shooting solution. The BOG Deathgrip Aluminum Tripod is on sale now at Cabela’s for $149.99. If weight is critical, Cabela’s also a lighter carbon fiber BOG model for $249.99. Either can be purchased online with free shipping to a Cabela’s store. NOTE: Natchez also has the BOG Aluminum Deathgrip Tripod for $149.95 (ADD to cart to see price).

7. MidwayUSA — RCBS MatchMaster, FREE Dies + $100 Gift Card

RCBS Matchmaster dispenser free dies $100 Gift Certificate
Buy MatchMaster, get $186 Free Dies plus $100 Gift Certificate

The RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser is a high-tech, programmable scale/dispenser that combines speed and excellent load weight accuracy. And right now, with an RCBS Promo, you’ll get both FL sizing die and micrometer seating die for FREE if you buy the $899.00 MatchMaster. The retail value of the die set is $185.95. But wait — it gets even better. If you purchase from MidwayUSA you get a $100 MidwayUSA Gift Certificate. So, with this deal you pay $899 but get $286 worth of product value. To qualify for the Free Dies deal, the MatchMaster must be purchased 4/1/2021 through 4/30/2021.

8. Sportsman’s WHSE — 12-gun Steel Security Cabinet, $189.99

tactical safe cabinet
Great Value on versatile security cabinet — good secondary safe

In addition to a heavy, primary gunsafe, many gun-owners can use a smaller security cabinet for another area of the house, for the garage, or even for an RV. If you’re looking for a good basic gun locker, check out the SnapSafe Premium 12-Gun Tactical Cabinet. It has a simple key-lock system and can fit in most closets. Purchasers praised this unit given the low cost: “For a gun case below $200 you can’t get much better than this” and “More of a light-weight gun locker … it is well made and sturdy though, and is much better than I expected for the price.”

98. Amazon — MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale, $16.99

powder scale
Great price for nice hunting rifle; many calibers, coated action + barrel

Having a good compact utility scale is great for weighing bullets, primers, and brass. Everyone should have a small battery scale for loading at the range or sorting bullets by weight. Right now you can get a decent digital scale for a mere $16.99. Despite the low price, this MAXUS Dante Milligram Scale has earned good owner reviews. The scale reads up to 771 grains and comes with batteries, check weight, and powder pan.

10. Amazon — 10000mAh Dual USB Battery Packs, $19.99

battery charge pack
Recharge your smartphones and tablets — good for Labradar too

Do you have a cellphone, tablet, LabRadar, barrel cooler or other device that needs mobile power? If so, we found a killer deal on a pair of Miady 10000mAh Dual USB Portable Chargers. Yes you get TWO (2) charging packs for just $19.99 total! Featuring USB and USB-C ports and fast 2 amp charging capability, this pair of portable power banks is one of the best deals we’ve seen.

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